September 19, 2011

Dear Family-

It’s been a good week. We had zone conference this week, and Elder
Christoffel Golden, of the Seventy spoke to us. He gave a lot of
really good advice, but the thing that stood out the most to me is not
to apologetically dilute the Gospel. Sometimes we try to make
commandments or doctrines easier to accept out of fear of rejection,
but we never know how an investigator will react. For all we know,
they would willingly accept our teachings if we were bold and
straight-forward, but we do them a disservice by making our teachings
seem less important than they really are.

We also had stake conference this week. A great piece of advice I got
from that came in the form of a parable. The stake president told a
story of when his father was in flight school for the military. He
quickly discovered that there were so many things they were expected
to do that there almost wasn’t enough time for all of them. They were
expected to exercise, keep their sleeping areas clean, keep their
uniforms clean, polish their boots, go to classes, study, take flight
tests, etc. They were graded on all of these things. So a couple weeks
in, this man decided to sacrifice the 30 minutes a day he spent
polishing his boots to spend extra time studying. Every day, when they
were inspected, he received high marks for appearance, but was told
that his boots looked horrible and received low marks for that. He
soon started doing better on his testing though, and by the time he
graduated, he was top in his class and his boots were gray. The lesson
is to examine our lives and decide what we are doing that gets in the
way of the most important things in life. Is there anything you do
that removes time for prayer, or scripture study, or family home
evening? It was a really great lesson on prioritizing.

Thanks for all of your letters and emails. Thank you also for the
pictures, Sirius is looking older, but I noticed that he has happy dog
ears, rather than scared wolf ears. I love you!

-Elder Emery

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